Established in 1551 on an island, at the confluence of rivers and ocean, is the riverine island of Vitoria and the capital of Espirito Santo state. Despite an unexpected lack of colonial buildings, Vitoria is a good-looking port city, with a modern, industrial appeal and beautiful, tranquil beaches. What is left of the original old city can be explored on the island, connected to the rest of the metropolitan area by bridges, with the most affluent neighbourhoods situated close to the historical centre.
The locals, known as are warm and welcoming to the recent influx of tourists drawn by the flourishing economy, infrastructure, and a booming nightlife and restaurant scene. Vitoria scores very highly for quality of life by Brazilian standards, and boasts all the amenities visitors could desire.
The best beaches in Vitoria include the beautiful Praia da Costa in neighbouring Vila Velha, and the Canto and Camburi beaches to the north. Other attractions include the ornate Palacio Anchieta, the old Governor's Palace, the meticulously restored Carlos Gomes Theatre and the lovely Pedra da Cebola Park for a stroll and a picnic.
Espirito Santo lacks high-profile tourist attractions, but as a result, the state is less crowded, less commercialised, and often cheaper than many others in Brazil - a good option for those seeking an authentic, laid-back holiday exploring little villages along the coast.
Vitoria has a tropical climate and, while it is generally hot, winter (June and August) can get colder than one might expect for the tropics, with temperatures occasionally dropping to about 54°F (12°C) during cold fronts. Equally, even in winter, temperatures can reach 86°F (30°C). Summer highs hover around 90°F (32°C) and winter lows typically average 66°F (19°C). Rainfall is heaviest between October and January, but showers are possible throughout the year. Vitoria is well-protected from the wind and can get quite smoggy as a result.
Getting around in Vitoria, one of Brazil's smaller cities, is relatively easy. There are comprehensive bus and train networks, and taxis and rental cars are easy to arrange. The railroad that runs through Vitoria connects many of the cities and towns in the region, and is ideal for excursions out of Vitoria.
No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination